Critical Studies: Portrait artists, designers and craftsperson's
Spencer was born and lived in the village of Cookham in Berkshire.
After studies at the Slade School of Art, he returned to his birthplace, which he already regarded as ‘a kind of earthly paradise’.
During the First World War he served with the Medical Corps in Macedonia and as an Official War Artist.
After the war he began to depict religious subjects in the everyday setting of Cookham. In the 1920s, inspired by the frescos of Giotto, and drawing on his wartime experiences, he painted cycles of religious murals in memorial chapels at Burghclere and Sandham.
In the Second World War he was again an Official War Artist, and painted a series of large pictures depicting ship building on the Clyde.
By the 1950s, Stanley Spencer had gained recognition for his contribution to the British figurative and portrait tradition.